• Kyodo

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The Vatican has agreed to recognize Takayama Ukon, one of Japan’s best-known Christian warlords, as beatus or “blessed,” the stage before being declared a saint, Vatican sources said.

A beatification ceremony will be held next year in Japan following an official announcement later this year or early next year after obtaining the approval of Pope Francis, they said.

Born in Osaka in 1552, Takayama Ukon served under the powerful warlords Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the 16th century. After Christianity was banned in Japan, he was exiled to Manila in 1614, where he died of illness the following year.